Behavioral and emotional problems in Chinese children of divorced parents

Xianchen Liu, Chuanqin Guo, Masako Okawa, Jing Zhai, Yan Li, Makoto Uchiyama, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Hiroshi Kurita

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Objective: This study examined the behavioral problems in Chinese children of divorced parents. Method: A total of 58 children of divorce and 116 gender-, age-, and school class-matched controls were ascertained from a general population sample of children aged 6 through 15 years. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and teachers completed the Teacher's Report Form (TRF) and Conners Hyperkinesis Index. Results: Parent- reported problem scores on the CBCL total scale and each subscale, and prevalence of all CBCL syndromes except for Somatic Complaints, were significantly higher in children of divorce than in controls. Teacher- reported problem scores on the TRF total scale and Social and Attention Problems and prevalence of Attention Problems were significantly different for the 2 groups of children. Social competence was rated significantly lower in children of divorce than in controls. Discriminant function analysis showed that behavioral problems in children of divorce were characterized by aggressive behavior, withdrawal, and social problems. Conclusions: The findings emanating from China provide the first evidence of the link between parental divorce and children's psychopathology and clarify the psychopathological dimensions in Chinese children of divorced parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-903
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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